In addition to COVID-19 case numbers, Texas Public Radio is updating information on how local businesses are adjusting, how you can help those in need and what you can do to stay entertained at home. TPR is also providing live updates on the Rio Grande Valley.
Tuesday’s report of new COVID-19 cases is more than 50% higher than last week’s highest daily count. With 1,268 new cases, there have now been 12,065 total cases in the San Antonio area.
There are 966 people hospitalized, 271 of which are in intensive care and 115 on ventilators. The city’s hospital capacity is still under high stress with 23% of staffed beds available and 59% of ventilators — the lowest ventilator availability the city has seen so far.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said he and Mayor Ron Nirenberg have added some safeguards to their executive orders, including requiring businesses to ask employees and customers whether they have symptoms and to check temperatures for indoor facilities.
Nirenberg, Wolff and assistant city manager Colleen Bridger all warned against participating in large gatherings this upcoming weekend. Bridger said there are many reasons for the recent spikes in new cases and hospitalizations, including Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and the overall early reopening of the state.
“Like a lot of things in public health, it’s not just one thing,” Bridger said.
Nirenberg said there will be more information tomorrow about whether parks will remain open this weekend.
According to Bridger in roughly 60% of all positive cases, the patient has known the person who exposed them to the virus.
San Antonio’s death rate is lower than other large Texas metropolises, but Wolff said the number of hospitalizations and people in intensive care is still a warning indicator.
According to Nirenberg, one in every four hospital admissions is COVID-related. He said that the city’s testing capacity is still good but that the city needs to update it to fit “the current reality.”
The doubling time of the virus has decreased from 13 days to 11 days since last week, which is far below the city’s warning threshold of 18 days. This means currently, it will take 11 days from the number of COVID-19 cases to double.
Data also shows shifting demographics of COVID-19 patients. Around mid-April, the racial makeup of patients almost mirrored the makeup of San Antonio’s population.
Now, about 15.6% of all COVID-19 patients who have died are Black — even though they only make up about 7% of all cases and 8.5% of the city’s population.
As of Tuesday, there have been 159,986 total confirmed cases across Texas — with Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties reporting the highest numbers of cases. Bexar came in fourth place.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are currently more than 6,500 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals.
Texas began allowing its first businesses to reopen May 1.
Find the latest national and international updates on COVID-19 from NPR's live blog.
Zoom in and scroll to find data on areas across the globe. Find more information at Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.